Research advances in identifying nitrate pollution sources of water environment by using nitrogen and oxygen stable isotopes

MAO Wei; LIANG Zhi-wei; LI Wei; ZHU Yao; YANNG Mu-yi; JIA Chao-jie
April 2013
Yingyong Shengtai Xuebao;Apr2013, Vol. 24 Issue 4, p1146
Academic Journal
Water body's nitrate pollution has become a common and severe environmental problem. In order to ensure human health and water environment benign evolution, it is of great importance to effectively identify the nitrate pollution sources of water body. Because of the discrepant composition of nitrogen and oxygen stable isotopes in different sources of nitrate in water body, nitrogen and oxygen stable isotopes can be used to identify the nitrate pollution sources of water environment. This paper introduced the fractionation factors of nitrogen and oxygen stable isotopes in the main processes of nitrogen cycling and the composition of these stable isotopes in main nitrate sources, compared the advantages and disadvantages of five pre-treatment methods for analyzing the nitrogen and oxygen isotopes in nitrate, and summarized the research advances in this aspect into three stages, i. e. , using nitrogen stable isotope alone, using nitrogen and oxygen stable isotopes simultaneously, and combining with mathematical models. The future research directions regarding the nitrate pollution sources identification of water environment were also discussed.


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